We are in the midst of generational opportunities in real estate investing today. Once-in-a-lifetime deals are already here and guess what? The gettin’ is going to get better!

“I was born under unusual circumstances”, so begins the really cool movie ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, starring Brad Pitt. For you new investors just coming into the market, you are indeed born unto unusual circumstances. Welcome! For experienced investors, we are definitely in unusual circumstances aren’t we? I smell a wakeup call for “redirection” and refocus, don’t you?

‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, adapted from the 1921 story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards: a man, like any of us, who is unable to stop time. The story, set in New Orleans from the end of World War I in 1918 to the 21st century, tells a grand tale of a not-so-ordinary man and the people and places he discovers along the way, the loves he finds, the joys of life and the sadness of death, and what lasts beyond time.

What does this movie has to do with real estate investing you say? Lots! I walked away from that movie with new perspectives on how to prosper in our current times of recession, doubt, and fear. (I was also walked away with a $50 parking ticket, but that’s a different blog…!)

Lesson #1: Benjamin Button said, “Life is not measured in minutes, but in moments”. Wow, this really dug deep into my soul. I see “moments” as a “present time season” of living. So, my life will be measured by what I do today, right? So, if I do nothing today, if I take no risks today, if I just wait n’ see today all day, what will there be to measure? Nothing! I realized the next day after the movie that the time is now. Now is the time to take advantage of the volatility of the real estate market. This is when millionaires and billionaires are made. This is my time to seize “the moments”.

Lesson #2: Benjamin Button’s wealth creation was in his relationship creation. This movie is really about relationships. The more passion he put into them, the richer his relationships became. In the world of real estate investing, the relationships you seek, develop, and nurture, will bring you wealth, pocket-listings, solutions to impossible problems, investors willing to write the check, and incredible partnerships. Each relationship that Benjamin Button had in the movie played an integral part in resulting who he became to be, starting from birth. So it is with me and you.

Lesson #3: Let the dead bury the dead. Benjamin Button, because he lived in a senior care home, and befriended many great people who were elderly, he saw his share of death. He got used to seeing life on Monday and death on Tuesday. He finally accepted that things must come to an end in order to go to the next level. To me, this meant that I needed to let go of my investment properties that died. I needed to say bye-bye to my real estate failures that seemed to hurt so much. I’m sure you had some too, huh? They hurt didn’t they? And some were really embarrassing! Death is a part of growth my friend. Let’s make it a pact and a promise to not let the past steal our futures. Let’s move onward and upward together, shall we? You willing? I am.

Lesson #4: As Benjamin Button got older, the more he became childlike and curious, and the more he prospered. From the beginning of the movie till the end, Benjamin never had life figured out. But he kept being curious (hence, the movie title) and exploring, and reaching, and never giving up the concept of discovery. I believe now is the time for us, that’s you and me, to be curious like never before. In fact, dedicated real estate investors should be the most curious people in the world these days. Aren’t hidden treasures found by the curious? The only way we are going to find the next great treasure (those hot deals!) is to be curious as a child. Gone are the days of hot deal after hot deal falling into your lap. The next time you are around your kids or someone else’s kids, watch how they play. The “ooohs” and “ahhhs” you hear are new discoveries they’re making! I wanna be like them. There are new ways to do deals that I haven’t found yet. But I will with my new ten year-old perspective on business!!

Lesson #5: Benjamin Button’s actions, his whole life in fact, were of routine faith. I didn’t get any notion of religion in Benjamin’s life, but he seemed to be fearless I noticed. He was so busy seizing every life opportunity, fear had no room to enter. That was the last point I got. Fear is an emotion and the media today has a monopoly on it. Fear is stealing the futures of so many investors and would-be investors as I sit here writing. I have decided that the only news I will watch from now on will be 60 Minutes on Sunday nights and 20/20 on Friday nights. That’s it! I had enough! I refuse to participate in the recession! Instead, I like the word progression much, much better, don’t you? So, what I’m doing today is studying various markets, reaching out to active and fearless real estate investors to see what they are doing and seeing, and keeping my properties and current projects front and center.

Go see the movie!

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